22 Apr 2023
© David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press Michael O'Connor celebrates scoring Dungannon's winner

It simply rained goals in the penultimate round of games in the Danske Bank Premiership, but it was a sad day for Portadown after they were condemned to a drop into the Championship.

Niall Currie’s side faced a trip to 11th placed Dungannon Swifts knowing defeat would see them fall through the relegation trapdoor while a point would take the survival battle into the last weekend of the campaign.

But, in a game you couldn’t take your eyes off, the Swifts emerged victorious by the odd goal in five to almost certainly secure their place in the relegation play-offs.

Ethan McGee opened the scoring on 19 minutes, a lead they held until Paul McElroy levelled for the Ports just before the hour.

Jordan Jenkins restored Dungannon’s lead a few minutes later but a McElroy effort in off keeper Declan Dunne midway through the second half set up what proved to be a grandstand finish with Michael O’Connor hitting the winner for the Swifts with just over ten minutes remaining.

Glentoran kept their hopes of an automatic European place alive with a three-goal victory over Coleraine at the BetMcLean Oval.

All the goals came in first half. Terry Devlin kicked the scoring off as early as the second minute with a close range header before a Niall McGinn double in the quarter-of-an-hour before the break saw Rodney McAree’s charges run out comfortable winners.

Interim Cliftonville boss Declan O’Hara saw his side carve out an entertaining 3-3 draw with neighbours Crusaders in the north Belfast derby at Solitude.

Paul Heatley kicked the scoring off after just 37 seconds, but the game really roared into life early in the second half with four goals in a blistering ten minute period.

Rory Hale levelled three minutes after the break, Ronan Hale edged the Reds in front moments after that before Jarlath O’Rourke hit the Crues equaliser seconds later.

Joe Gormley then handed the lead back to Cliftonville just short of the hour but it fell to Heatley to complete the scoring deep into stoppage time.

Newry City effectively secured their place in the top flight next season after equally sharing four goals at home to Ballymena United.

Ryan Waide headed the Sky Blues in front on six minutes, with James Teelan levelling late in the first half with a lob over the keeper. Waide restored Ballymena’s advantage just after the hour, but a Donal Scullion finish soon after saw City equalise for a second time.

Meanwhile, at the Loughview Leisure Arena, on form Glenavon swept to victory over Carrick Rangers.

Andrew Doyle, who had earlier hit the woodwork, opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark with Matthew Fitzpatrick doubling up not long after the interval.

Nedas Maciulaitis pulled one back for the ‘Gers just after the hour but 16-year-old Cohen Henderson wrapped things up in stoppage time with a superb finish from the halfway line.